Jenkins calls stipends ‘back door pay increases’ for Westchester legislators

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Westchester Legislator Ken Jenkins, D-Yonkers, the former chairman of the Board of Legislators, is questioning the need for an expanded set of committees at the board and saying it was designed to boost legislators’ pay.

With the new board leadership of Chairman Michael Kaplowitz, D-Somers, and Vice-Chairman Jim Maisano, R-New Rochelle, who took over at the beginning of the new term this month, each of the 17 legislators was given either a leadership position or a committee chairmanship. Each comes with a stipend of at least $3,000.

Jenkins called them “back door pay increases for legislators,” in a press release Tuesday.

Most legislators will see $3,000 stipends. The exceptions are the chairmen of the Legislation and Budget committees, who will receive $9,000 stipends on top of the $49,200 base salary for legislators. The minority and majority leader will also receive $9,000 and the chairman gets $40,000.

Kaplowitz has said the new structure was a way to engage all the legislators more directly in the business of the board.

Jenkins said he declined his $3,000 stipend as chairman of the Federal and State Affairs Committee.

“At a time when the necessary focus is on shrinking government and increasing shared services as means of saving taxpayer dollars, the idea of expanding County government and creating new committees strikes me as being wasteful and counterproductive,” said Jenkins. “Some of the Board committees will have little to do and will not meet regularly as a result. The stipends to chair these committees appear to be back door pay increases for legislators.”

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  1. Westchester Voter on

    Legislator Jenkins forgets the money he spent on attorneys to sue the County Executive during his tenure as BOL chair. He should be giving Kaplowitz the opportunity to have the BOL work in a more reasonable fashion. Jenkins has been rewarded with an interesting position in Yonkers in addition to his BOL position, so he doesn’t need the stipend he’s rejected. Ah, politics!

  2. Are you kidding!
    Because he no longer handles the purse strings he makes this announcement as of it were news.
    The man has no end of nerve.
    WHERE WAS HIS CONCERN WHEN HE WAS DOLING OUT STIPENDS TO HIS COHORTS???
    AND leaving out all republicans and conservatives?
    At least these commissions seem to be more evenly doled out to allow a more appropriate consensus of opinion on matters to come before the board.
    That will equal less monkey business designed not to assist our county and county executive branches to move us along financially, economically etch.. instead of jerkins only doing his best to cost us in ridiculous law suits against ourselves, hampering the county executive in his goals to protect us from unfunded mandates and unlawful violations against home rule, and others trying to make our county an example of socialism redux.
    jerkins did his best to in effect freeze any county gov’t work to proceed except his own pet projects.
    And at this point his new double dipping should be investigated by a separate state district attorney go see how it could possibly NOT have a conflict with his work as a legislator.

  3. Ken Jenkins should look in the mirror and see what he did in the four years the BOL was the laughing stock of the County. I guess he and his former VP don’t want to have a Board that actually wants to get some work done for the Taxpayers of the county. Instead of being a sore sport Ken, now is time to work for the County Taxpayers instead of just a few. I too believe, as xtrag does, that it is a conflict of interest taking that Yonkers job for $60,000 with an IDA that does business with the county. He will be required to vote on some of those decisions and as being chairman of his committee will have to work with the Mayor of Yonkers (Another Spano family member that believes in giving jobs away to people that can help him with his next run.) Ken believes in this concept too, just look at Board staff.
    Well the new BOL is not perfect but it sure beats the last 4 years. Maybe the taxpayer will get a fair shake now. Maybe now we could get the Feds to believe in this concept.